Can I Be a Good Friend – follow up


It’s been over a year since I wrote Can I Be a Good Friend and I thought the timing was perfect for a follow-up.  I’ve struggled with relationships with women for a long time and really never cared for them.  I couldn’t stand their bickering, back stabbing and competitive ways.  I found that on the few occasions when I did allow someone to come into my life that it always ended bad.

When I wrote the last blog I was seeing my Christian mentor and she taught me some really great things about myself, but I must admit that it has been scary to put my skills into action.  I knew last year the  most important relationship to mend was with my sister.  I am so happy to tell you that we are finally in the habit of one another.  We spend time with each other laughing and enjoying each others company.  I have even taught her how to crochet and look what she can do!

Kandi's Hat

I love my sister and I am grateful that God has brought our relationship together because without him we would probably still be very distant from one another.  God is building my faith that I can definitely be a good friend.  Here’s my beautiful sister.

Kandi

Last week I attended the New England Women’s Convention at International Family Church in Boston, Massachusetts.  There were 7 other women that attended this conference with me and spending 4 days and 3 nights with 7 women terrified me! I had never been on any type of trip like this before and was anxious about how all the personalities would intertwine.  I am proud to tell you that no blood was shed, everyone was patient and no one walked away with hurt feelings.  I truly believe it is because our common goal of being together was worshiping the Lord and learning how to gain strength from one another.

On our last night while we were eating dinner, each one shared their “take-a-way” from the trip.  I admitted my hesitations and that I felt truly blessed being surrounded by strong women that love God with such passion.  As I sat there and listened to the other women speak, it was then that I realized they all felt the same way to a certain degree.  I wasn’t alone and together we accomplished our goal.

I now know that I can truly be a good friend and that I am a caring and loving woman and have much to offer to the women in my life.  I cherish and value their friendship and can see our group being friends till we are old and gray.  I’ve wanted friends in my life for a long time and had no idea just how badly I needed them.

Here is a picture of the women that attended the conference starting from right to left:

Front Row:  Vicki Noordermeer, Rachel Wicks, me, Taylor Kerby, and Susanne Noordermeer

Back Row:  Carolyn Correia, Heather Worley, Lisa Bevere (guest speaker) and Allison Spratlin

Boston Group

By the way, for those of you who have never heard of Lisa Bevere, look her up!  What a mighty and strong woman of God and the messages that God has given to her are so powerful!  Check her calendar and if she comes anywhere near you, please go see her.  You will walk away fully charge and ready to become the woman God has created you to be.

The path I have laid before me has laughter, joy, peace and love because I realize that I’m not alone on this journey.  What is the success of these new friendships and me being a good friend?  Jesus, plain and simple.

 

Kathy

 

No Longer in the Dark


I woke this morning quickly remembering that today was Valentine’s Day. Of course I gave Emory and big hug and kiss probably like every woman did on this “love” day to their special someone. I love holidays and always have, but I must admit that since being married to Emory the last 3 years, my perspective on things have totally changed.

I was married before Emory, (18 years) to a person that only thought they knew me. I probably did seem materialistic at times as I was typically given jewelry, flowers, etc on days like today. We did the typical ritual of going out to eat like what’s expected, but I always felt empty.

Now, my holidays look and feel so much different. We didn’t go out to eat tonight because Emory is at work protecting you, me and everyone else from “bad people”. We didn’t exchange cards or gifts either. We spent the morning together and just enjoyed our time.

I don’t need all that stuff anymore. I have love and it is totally enough. Emory has shown me the true meaning of love and I think it’s great that he doesn’t need to act extra nice or sweet because it is Valentine’s Day. Emory treats me special every single day. I am no longer in the dark because I am truly loved.

My prayer is that every person at some point in their life will be able to feel the unconditional love that I have been able to experience. I think it could change the world.

Kathy

Bring Your Bowl Cause the Chili is Ready!


Emory and I have found our new favorite pass time.  Many changes have been going on in the Lashley household and we needed to find a new peaceful direction.  Well here it is!

We bought one of the dutch ovens a year ago and maybe used it once or twice.  You know what I’m talking about.  You go to the sporting goods store walking down the aisles and see something so very cool.  You talk yourself into it and there ya go.  It sits remaining in its original container for eternity.

I am proud to say that we have finally put our oven to its intended use.  About two or three nights a week Emory and I will go down by the pond to our special spot and he will build a fire so that we can cook our dinner.  We have our little portable radio playing softly and I’m usually crocheting and he just sits there watching the fire.  The crickets and frogs are having their own conversations and even my owl friend will talk sometimes.  The serenity of my country life is unbelievable and truly a blessing to my soul.

We have a variety of foods we cook, but my favorite is probably when he prepares his deer chili.  I am telling you, there is something about that black kettle pot that brings forth such a rich and  powerful flavor to each and every ingredient. Those cowboys back in the day sure knew what they were doing!

As you can see by the picture, we have acquired another pot.  Why?  Our church has small group meetings at individual’s homes and Emory and I attend one of the groups every Tuesday night.  Upon our introductions the first night, we had to tell something about ourselves.  My husband is not a man of many words (at least not to everyone else) and expressed his favorite time of the day was sundown so that he could go down by the fire and cook dinner.  The group went crazy and it was on!  Everyone came to our house this past Tuesday and enjoyed the infamous chili!  We had a few of the guys bring their guitars and played while everyone ate and sat by the fire.  We had such a great time that most of them came back last night for my infamous lasagna and of course the ambiance of the cool night air with the warm toasty fire.

I’m not sure it has to be cooking by a fire with friends to make that kind of difference in a person’s life.  It is simply enjoying life the way God intended.  He wants us to let go of the big stuff and just soak up today.  So, no matter what it is, create some memories that can make you smile.

Kathy

Quit Second Guessing Yourself


People always seem to be full of so many regrets for the decisions they have made in the past.  Why did I do that?  What was I thinking?  Sure, some of those questions may be justified, but have you ever thought that maybe at the time you made that decision it was the right one?  Why is it only afterwards we decide it’s bad?  Is it because the outcome wasn’t what we wanted?

You can waste so much of your time and energy living in regret.  I know because I’ve done it before and it kept me feeling guilty all the time.  I now choose to live differently but it certainly took a concentrated effort on my part to make the change.  Fortunately, I finally have the right people in my life to help me through this transition.

Do I now make the right decisions all the time.  Maybe, maybe not but what I do know is that I don’t spend countless hours trying to decide whether I should have done something differently.  I finally accept the fact that at the time of making a significant choice it seemed like the right thing to do and let it go at that.

Enjoy your life to the fullest and if you can learn from your choices in life and not dwell on it and move on, well, you’ve accomplished something.  But here’s the thing……there is no crystal ball so don’t beat yourself up!  Life is a journey and we all need to live A Life of Freedom!

~Kathy

Photo Credit:  Google Images

Five Friday Night Fast and Fun Facts!


Fact Number 1:  I have 5 more class days and I will be finished with this 5 week semester which normally is a 16 week semester that’s been crammed into 5 weeks.

Fact Number 2:  The next 5 week semester will begin the following Monday!…….Pray for me because I’ll be taking business analytics which is a fancy name for statistics.  (Did I mention I STINK at math?  I still cross out ten to make it a nine and carry my whatever.

Fact Number 3:  I have crocheted 6 hats this week!

Fact Number 4:  Tomorrow I’ll wake up early and get my house neat and clean and head towards the lake to ride in the boat all day long with my good-looking husband.  We’ll be soaking up the wonderful sunshine that God beam’s out of our big blue sky here in Alabama.

Fact Number 5:  If you’re reading this that means you are my blogging friend, so I’d like to say a big ole’ southern hey!  I’m glad you came to see me!  Stop in and hang out a while.  Leave me a comment telling me how great you are and what’s the best thing about you.  I’d love to hear it and share your fact with all my other friends.

~Kathy

 

Photo Credit:  Google Images

WOW! I Got the Illuminating Blogger Award!


I’ve been awarded the Illuminating Blogger Award by Genie!  I love her blog as she shares encouraging and thoughtful posts, so stop on by and get a little inspiration yourself!

I am so grateful for another award and must admit it’s a very humbling experience for me.  I’ve never written before in my life and can’t say enough about the support!  I want to thank Genie and everyone else for all their kind words of encouragement through this journey of life.  The Lord knows we certainly need it from one another!

I’m to share one random thing about me.  Hmmmm……

I don’t like condiments such as ketchup, mustard and oh my gosh especially mayonnaise!  I won’t even touch the stuff and CANNOT be fooled when it’s been added to my food.  Makes for plain sandwiches, etc. but I like to taste my food and not cover it up with awful tasting stuff!

Now to nominate 5 other deserving blogger folks:

  1. Coveredinpink – A young lady finding her way through this crazy life and doing it successfully.
  2. Roots2 Blossom – Incredible stories of a woman who strives to be her best.
  3. Laura Dickey – always positive messages to get you through the day.
  4. Encouraging Servants – Sherry is a great writer and I enjoy working with her at Women’s Hope Medical Clinic.
  5. Life, Leadership and Faith – Lee shares his thoughts about life through his eyes.

So now get up and do something nice for someone today!

There Doesn’t Have to be a Difference. It’s a Choice.


When you get remarried there is so much that goes into the mix of merging two different families together.  In my case, our children were practically grown and God blessed us with a smooth transition (for the most part).

One relationship particular that I want to share with everyone is about Emory and Jayden.  When Emory came into my life Jayden (my granddaughter) was only 14 months old.  She wasn’t sure of this big man with a deep and authoritative voice and didn’t really want that much to do with him.  We both knew it would take some time for her to become comfortable around him and didn’t put too much emphasis on it really.

At one point when she really started talking the question came up about what to call him.  I definitely was nervous about even having this conversation.  I knew I wanted him to feel the same way about her as I did, but at the same time I couldn’t force this relationship.  So we were talking about it and Emory told me that he wanted her to call him “Papa”.  I was absolutely elated!  Now we just had to tell my daughter Kristin and see how she felt about it.  The conversation went over well and Jayden has called him Papa ever since.

Over time, I have watched Emory totally fall in love with Jayden.  Her birthday was May 4th and she turned 4.  Well Jayden told us she wanted a swing for her birthday.  A neighbor of ours had an old one that needed some work and Emory spent over 4 hours sanding and painting that swing pink and white.  What an incredible sight to watch this man labor out in the boiling sun to make his granddaughter happy.

  He helped me decorate the entire living room in balloons and banners.  We went outside and decorated our fence with balloons so when she topped the hill of the dirt road, she could see the balloons flying everywhere. Emory never said one word about all the “trouble” we spent preparing for her party.  He actually even ordered her princess cake and had them put a tiara and wand on the cake. (And all the women said “awwwww”).

After she arrived, everyone was eating and Jayden had not seen her swing yet.  I watched him walk over to her and bend down to whisper in her ear.  She jumped in his arms and gave him a big hug and they quietly went out the front door.  He was taking her to that swing.  I knew this was going to be a special moment and waited about 30 minutes or so before I joined them. As I turned the corner, you could hear her talking to him and he looked up and just gave me a smile.

Are they related?  Yes.  Jayden is Emory’s granddaughter and no one else would ever be able to tell him and especially her differently.  She genuinely loves him and it’s a love that was created by God.  It doesn’t matter to either one of them that they may not technically be blood related and all Jayden knows is that Emory has been in her life since she can remember.

I’m thankful that Emory loves Jayden the way he does and now that Dakotah (my other granddaughter) is here, she will also get to know him as “Papa” as she gets older.

I am not oblivious to the fact that when you mix families you have problems as our family has had its share but this post is not about all the problems that come with mixing families.

God expects us (humans) to love each other just this way.  We may not all technically be related by our standards, but we are all God’s children just the same.  Imagine the stress in my family’s life if Emory had decided not to love her the way he does.  I know it happens all around us everyday because I’ve seen it.

Loving another person with a true heart is a good choice to make in your life.  It has the potential to make a difference in your life and the life of the person you choose to love.